Our Beliefs

The Mennonite Confession

Statements of what Mennonites believe have been among us from the very earliest beginnings. This Confession is the work of two Mennonite groups in North America, the Mennonite Church (MC) and the General Conference Mennonite Church (GC). The Toronto Chinese Mennonite Church (TCMC) is a member Church of the Mennonite Conference of Eastern Canada (MCEC). This Confession acts as a guideline for interpretation of Scripture, but the Confession itself remains subject to the authority of the Bible. The Confession also provides guidance for belief and practice. The Confession helps us in discussing Mennonite belief and practice with other Christians and people of other faiths. There are 24 articles that comprise this Confession. They are listed and briefly summarized here for your convenience only. The complete document is available and may be consulted to satisfy any further questions.

1. God
We believe that God exists and is pleased with all who draw near by faith. We worship the one holy and loving God who is father, Son and Holy Spirit eternally.
Exod. 3:13-14; Heb. 11:6; Exod. 20:1-6; Deut. 6:4; Matt. 28:19; 2 Corinth. 13:13

2. Jesus Christ
We believe in Jesus Christ the Word of God become flesh. He is the Saviour of the world, who has delivered us from the dominion of sin and reconciled us to God by humbling Himself and becoming obedient unto death on a cross.
Phil. 2:5-8; Rom. 1:4; 1 Corinth 3:11; 2 Sam. 7:13-14; Isa. 9:1-6; Rom. 1:3

3. Holy Spirit
We believe in the Holy Spirit, the eternal Spirit of God, who dwelled in Jesus Christ, who empowers the Church, who is the source of our life in Christ, and who is poured out on those who believe as the guarantee of our redemption and of the redemption of creation.
Ps 104:30; Mic 3:8; Luke 1:35, 3:22; Joel 2:28-29; John 16:8-10; Isa 63:10; Acts 5:3

4. Scripture
We believe that all Scripture is inspired by God through the Holy Spirit for instruction in salvation and training in righteousness. We accept the Scripture as the Word of God and as the fully reliable and trustworthy standard for Christian faith and love.
Jer. 30:2; Jer. 36:2; 2 Tim 3:16; 2 Peter 1:21; Exod 20:1; Gal 1:11-12

5. Creation and Divine Providence
We believe that God has created the heavens and the earth and all that is in them, and that God preserves and renews what has been made. All creation ultimately has its source outside itself and belongs to the Creator. We believe that the universe has been called into being as an expression of God’s love and sovereign freedom alone. Creation witnesses to the eternal power and divine nature of God, who gives meaning and purpose to life and who alone is worthy of worship and praise.
Gen 1:1, 31; Isa 45:11f; John 1:3; 1Tim. 4:4; Matt 10:26-31, 6:25-33; Ps. 33; Rom 1:19-23

6. The Creation and Calling of Human Beings
We believe that God has created human beings in the divine image. God formed them from the dust of the earth and gave them a special dignity among all the works of creation. Human beings have been made for relationship with God, to live in peace with each other, and to take care of the rest of creation. We believe that human beings were created good, in the image of God. As creatures according to the divine likeness, we have been made stewards to subdue and to care for creation out of reverence and honour for the Creator.
Gen 1:26-31, 2:18-23; Rom 1:21-23, 8:29; Ps 8:5-8; Eph 5:21-33; 2 Corinth 4:4

7. Sin
We confess that, beginning with Adam and Eve, humanity has disobeyed God, given way to the Tempter, and chosen to sin. Because of sin, we have fallen short of the Creator’s intent, marred the image of God in which we were created, disrupted order in the world, and limited our love for others. Because of sin, we have been given over to the enslaving powers of evil and death.
Gen 2:17, 3:22-24, 6:11-12; Rom 1:21-32, 6:23; Dan 9; Isa 1:12-17

8. Salvation
We believe that, through the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ, God offers salvation from sin and a new way of life to all people. We receive God’s salvation when we repent from our sins and accept Jesus Christ as Saviour and Lord. In Christ, we are reconciled with God and brought into the reconciling community of God’s people. We place our faith in God that we may be saved from sin to personally follow Christ in this life and to know the fullness of salvation in the age to come.
Ps 74:12; Deut 6:20-25; Exod 20:1-17; John 3:16; Gal 4:4; Heb 1:1-2; Matt 26:28

9. The Church of Jesus Christ
We believe that the Church is the assembly of those, from many nations, who have accepted God’s offer of salvation through faith in His son, Jesus Christ. The Church is the new community of disciples sent into the world to proclaim the reign of God and to provide a foretaste of the Church’s glorious hope. The Church is the new society established and sustained by the Holy Spirit. The Church, the body of Christ, is called to be ever more like Jesus Christ, its head, in its worship, ministry, witness, mutual love and care, and the ordering of its common life. The Church is the assembly of those who voluntarily commit themselves to follow Christ in life and to be accountable to one another and to God, while recognizing that the Church is imperfect and thus in constant need of repentance.
Eph 4:13, 15; Acts 1:8, 2:1-11, 11:1-18; 1 Corinth 12:12-13; Gal 3:26-28; Mark 3:33-35

10. The Church in Mission
We believe that the Church is called to proclaim and to be a sign of the Kingdom of God. Christ has commissioned the Church to be His witnesses, making disciples of all of the nations, baptizing them, and teaching them to observe all that He has commanded. The Church is called to witness to the reign of Christ by embodying Jesus’ way in its own life and patterning itself after the reign of God. The Church is also to give witness by proclaiming the reign of God in word and deed.
Acts 1:8, 10:36; Matt 5:13-16, 28:19; Mark 1:15; John 20:21-22; 2 Corinth 5:14

11. Baptism
We believe that the baptism of believers with water is a sign of their cleansing from sin. Baptism is also a pledge before the Church of their covenant with God to walk in the way of Jesus Christ by the power of the Holy Spirit. Baptism is a testimony of God’s gift of the Holy Spirit and the continuing work of the Spirit in the lives of believers.
Rom 6:1-4; Acts 2:38-39; Matt 28:19; Luke 12:50; Gal 3:27

12. The Lord’s Supper
We believe that the Lord’s Supper is a sign by which the Church thankfully remembers the new covenant which Jesus established by His death. In this communion meal, the members of the Church renew our covenant with God and with each other. The Lord’s Supper points to Jesus Christ, whose body was given for us and whose shed blood established the new covenant. All are invited to the Lord’s table who have been baptized into the community of faith, are living at peace with God and with their brothers and sisters in faith, and are willing to be accountable in their congregation.
1 Corinth 11:24-26, 10:16; Luke 22:15-20, 28-30; Jer 31:31-34

13. Foot Washing
We believe that Jesus Christ calls us to serve one another in love as He did. Rather than seeking to lord it over others, we are called to follow the example of our Lord, who chose the role of servant by washing His disciple’s feet. In this act, Jesus showed humility and servanthood, even laying down His life for those he loved.
John 13:14-15, 13:8; Matt 20:20-28; Mark 9:30-37; Luke 22:25-27

14. Discipline in the Church
According to the teaching of Jesus Christ and the apostles, all believers participate in the church’s mutual care and discipline as appropriate. We believe that the practice of discipline in the Church is a sign of God’s offer of forgiveness and transforming grace to believers who are moving away from faithful discipleship or who have been overtaken by sin. Jesus gave the Church authority to discern right and wrong and to forgive sins where there is repentance, or to retain sins where there is no repentance.
Matt 18:15-22; John 20:21-23; Gal 6:1-2; Deut 19:15; Eph 4:15; 1 Corinth 5:3-5

15. Ministry and Leadership
We believe that ministry continues the work of Christ, who gives gifts through the power of the Holy Spirit to all believers and empowers them for service in the Church and in the world. We also believe that God calls particular persons in the Church to specific leadership ministries and offices. All who minister are accountable to God and to the community of faith as they serve the Church.
Matt 25:31-40; 1 Corinth 12:31-13:13; Eph 4:7; Rom 10:14-15, 12:4-8; Jer 1:4-10

16. Church Order and Unity
We believe that the Church of Jesus Christ is one body with many members, ordered in such a way that, through one Spirit, believers may be built together spiritually into a dwelling place for God. As God’s people, the Church is a holy temple, a spiritual house, founded upon the apostles and prophets, with Jesus Christ Himself as the cornerstone. Church order is needed to maintain unity on important matters of faith and life so that each may serve and be served, and the body of Christ may be built up in love.
Eph 2:20-22, 4:3, 4:7; 1 Corinth 3:16-17, 14:33; Acts 11:18, 15:1-21; John 17:20-24

17. Discipleship and the Christian Life
We believe that Jesus Christ calls us to take up our cross and follow Him. Through the gift of God’s saving grace, we are empowered to be disciples of Jesus, filled with His Spirit, following His teachings and His path through suffering to new life. As by faith we walk in Christ’s way, we are being transformed into His image. We become conformed to Christ, faithful to the will of God, and separated from the evil in the world.
Phil 3:10; Rom 8:12-17, 12:1-2; Matt 5:3, 5:27-30, 6:25-33, 26:39; Zech 4:6; Mic 6:8

18. Christian Spirituality
We believe that to be a disciple of Jesus Christ is to know life in the Spirit. As we experience relationship with God, the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ take shape in us, and we grow in the image of Christ. In individual and communal worship, the Holy Spirit is present, leading us deeper into the wisdom of God.
2 Corinth 3:17-18; Phil. 3:21; Eph 4:15-16; 1 Tim 4:7-8; Gal 5:22-26; Ps 119:67

19. Family, Singleness, and Marriage
We believe that God intends human life to begin in families and to be blessed through families. Even more, God desires all people to become part of His family, the Church. As single and married members of the Church family, we give and receive nurture and healing. Christian family relationships can then grow toward the wholeness that God intends. We recognize that God has created human beings for relationship. God intends life to be blessed through families, especially through the family of faith. We believe that God intends marriage to be a covenant between one man and one woman for life. According to Scripture, right sexual union takes place only within the marriage relationship.
Ps 27:10; Luke 8:19-21; Eph 2:19 1 Corinth 6:12-20, 7:38; Mark 10:13-16 Exod 20:12,14

20. Truth and the Avoidance of Oaths
We commit ourselves to tell the truth, to give a simple yes or no, and to avoid swearing of oaths. Throughout history, human governments have asked citizens to swear oaths of allegiance. As Christians, we believe that our first allegiance is to God.
Matt 5:33-37; James 5:12; Eph 4:15, 29; Acts 5:29

21. Christian Stewardship
We believe that everything belongs to God, who calls us as the Church to live as faithful stewards of all that God has entrusted to us. As servants of God, our primary vocation is to be stewards in God’s household. God, who in Christ has given us new life, has also given us spiritual gifts to use for the Church’s nurture and mission.
Luke 12:35-48; 1 Corinth 4:1-2; 1 Peter 4:10-11; 2 Corinth 5:18-20; James 5:4

22. Peace, Justice, and Nonresistance
We believe that peace is the will of God. God created the world in peace, and God’s peace is most fully revealed in Jesus Christ, who is our peace and the peace of the whole world. Led by the Holy Spirit, we follow Christ in the way of peace, doing justice, bringing reconciliation, and practicing nonresistance even in the face of violence and warfare.
Gen 1-11; Isa 2:2-4 Lev 26:6; Isa 31:1; Matt 5:3-12; Rom 5:10-11, 12:41-21

23. The Church’s relationship to Government and Society
We believe the Church is God’s “holy nation”, called to give full allegiance to Christ as its head and to witness to all nations about God’s saving love. As citizens of God’s kingdom, we trust in the power of God’s love for our defense. The only Christian nation is the Church of Jesus Christ, made up of people from every tribe and nation, called to witness to God’s glory. In contrast to the Church, governing authorities of the world have been instituted by God for maintaining order in societies. Such governments and other human institutions as servants of God are called to act justly and provide order. As Christians, we are to respect those in authority and pray for all people, including those in government, that they also may be saved and come to the knowledge of the truth.
1 Pet 2:9; Phil 3:20; Eph 2:19; Rev 7:9; Rom 13:1-7; Ezek 28; Daniel 7-8; 2 Corinth 5:20

24. The Reign of God
We place our hope in the reign of God and its fulfillment in the day when Christ our ascended Lord will again in glory to judge the living and the dead; He will gather His Church. We believe in God’s final victory, in the end of this present age of struggle between good and evil, in the resurrection of the dead, and in the appearance of a new heaven and a new earth. There the people of God will reign with Christ in justice, righteousness, and peace.
Rev. 5:13-14, 7:9-17, 21:1-4; Acts 2:41-47; Luke 6:20; Exod. 15:8; Zech. 14:9

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